A study published in ‘JMIR mHealth and uHealth’ journal examined the use of mHealth apps and e-tools.
In this research, efficacy of mHealth apps was examined in order to improve use of medication and overall patient conditions in diabetic patients. The research team was led by Linda Wilhelmina Maria van Kerkhof, PhD. Researchers noted down 116 most frequently downloaded apps for glucose monitoring. In the second stage, they conducted an online survey to find out answers for why people use these apps, their efficacy & health benefits, and potential risks. Half of them responded that they used apps for educational purposes, while 37 percent of them reported that they used it for side effect monitoring and treatment adherence purposes.
Research team outlined that the availability of the apps and e-tools has increased enormously in the past few years. Patients and healthcare professionals have little idea about reliable e-tools after considering this huge availability of apps and lack of regulations. Patients are consulting to their acquaintances before using any app. While beginning new treatment, patients prefer apps used by their confidants to determine reliability of apps. mHealth apps are effective as it improves overall health and boosts self-reliance of patients. The efficacy of app depends upon the willingness of patients to perform mentioned tasks in the app.
“A recent study indicates that the effectiveness of a diabetes management app to “improve health” is largely dependent on patient willingness to use the app and satisfaction with the app, indicating the need to include these aspects in studies investigating benefits and effectiveness of e-tools,” the research team said. “This is in line with our study, which shows that of the people willing to use the app and doing so, many feel that the app(s) improve their health.”
Some of the apps are useful as they provide health benefits, while some are not as effective and reliable. These apps are helpful in educating patients but involve low level of engagement, while some apps involve active patient engagement and help patients in improving rapidly. The research team suggest that mHealth apps need better regulation and developers need to comply with those regulations to provide reliable and effective care.
Analysts studying the industry have revealed thorough information regarding changing market dynamics in research reports. Recently, Big Market Research has added a report titled, “Global mHealth Market (Devices, Services, Application, Stakeholders and Geography).” As per the report, the world mHealth market is valued at $10.5 billion in 2014 and expected to grow at a CAGR of 33.5% from 2015 to 2020.